Creative Writing

The Begining of Hook

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  If solutions are to be subjected to long procedural delays, they are bound to prove useless.The second most important area where the ECP needs to be empowered is its control over the civil administration. It needs the services of an army of government employees to  perform duties at the polling station level. It needs to wean these seconded personnel off any political affiliations, guard them against threats of violence from vested interest groups, check any negligence on their part and make them work efficiently.eveloping other stakes in civil administration is important as peace and order in society are a prere!uisite for elections. The ECP also needs the support of all government departments, including the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Code of Conduct for pre election campaigns is strictly followed, that voters are not bribed or coerced, and that there is a level playing field for all contestants.The ECP has not been able to ensure all of this to the satisfaction of the parties. #ne likely reason is that this area too is contested by two constitutional bodies, the ECP and the caretaker government. They are both entrusted with the same responsibility of ensuring neutrality in government. This duplication not only creates confusion but also works as a disincentive for the ECP to take the initiative, besides allowing the two to  blame failures on each other.Interim set ups have traditionally served as a constitutional window for the establishment to intervene in the electoral process. The system of appointment was changed substantially through the $%th &mendment but caretaker set ups too have failed to meet e'pectations. The ECP thus needs a new legal framework for its engagement with the civil administration. There is no harm in taking a leaf from the Indian e'perience where no caretakers are appointed and the election commission virtually takes over the entire state machinery, as soon as the election process begins and until the results are announced.The Electoral (eforms Committee will have to avoid indulging in rephrasing old laws and show some creativity. (eaders should be reminded that Pakistan achieved an important milestone in its first ever democratic transition, from one elected government to the ne't, in )*$+. The subse!uent milestone should not be the ne't transition but electoral reforms as only these can take polls and democracy a !ualitative step forward. The writer works with Punjab Lok Sujag, a research and advocacy group. Published in Dawn, July 2th, 2! # Comment Email Print Comment Email 


Jul 23, 2017
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